Baule Seated Male Figure, Ivory Coast
Lot 128
Baule Seated Male Figure, Ivory Coast
Sold for US$ 7,500 inc. premium
Auction Details
Lot Details
Baule Seated Male Figure, Ivory Coast
height 15 1/4in (38.7cm)
Wood, beads, fiber

Billy Pearson, La Jolla
Morton and Estelle Sosland, Kansas City

This finely carved work, which lacks kaolin or sacrifices on it, is probably a spirit spouse. According to Vogel (1997: p 240), "the original purpose of a Baule sculpture can only be guessed as once it has left its original context. The surface is a partial indicator - but not entirely reliable: spirit spouse figures tend to be clean, without kaolin or sacrifice on them."

Vogel continues (p 246-47), "These spirit (spouses) help their human partners broadly in their lives, and can spread their good will to the children or spouse of their partner. More rarely, a spirit spouse will help a clairvoyant or diviner to foretell the future for clients, or will produce some other specialized talent or activity (such as singing or dancing skills). In my earlier publications, I may have overemphasized the spirit spouses' association with sexual and reproductive problems, and their important role in maintaining a good and fruitful marriage. In fact they ideally improve all areas of life, from school grades to business."
  1. Fredric Backlar
    Specialist - African, Oceanic and Pre-Columbian Art
    7601 W. Sunset Boulevard
    Los Angeles, 90046
    United States
    Work +1 323 436 5416
    FaxFax: +1 323 850 5843